Question about ssh_host_dsa_key

Robert Dailey rcdailey at
Mon Jun 9 20:46:17 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 2:58 PM, Derek Broughton <news at> wrote:

> Robert Dailey wrote:
> > I'm very new to Ubuntu Server and I'm just wondering what the key named
> > "ssh_host_dsa_key" is for?
> You have host key pairs for your users and for your hosts.  This is the
> _private_ dsa key for your machine. is the one that
> other machines use to verify that they're still connecting to the same
> machine with repeated uses.
> > This is located in /etc/ssh. Also another
> > confusing concept is ssh-keygen. What's the point of creating
> > public/private keys?
> You have host key pairs for your users and for your hosts... :-)
> > Is this so I never need to specify an explicit
> > password when logging into my ubuntu server via PuTTY on windows?
> When you're logging into _any_ ssh server with any ssh client, not just
> PuTTY.  And this is not just a convenience for you - it's actually more
> secure to not send passwords over the network.  I run ssh_keygen once, then
> login (with a password) to a server and append the public key to
> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys, and I never have to use a password again (this,
> though, causes havoc with the machine I only occasionally administer, as I
> then need to remember the "login password", that I never use to login, for
> sudo).
> > I'm
> > trying to understand how SSH works in Ubuntu so I can debug an issue I'm
> > having with svn over ssh.
> Try telling us what the issue is...

I didn't mention it before because it seemed OT, but since you ask, I'll let
you know. I brought up the issue on the Subversion Users mailing list here:

A summary of the issue is below:

I downloaded a tarball for SVN 1.5RC9 and built it. The binaries are located
in /usr/local/bin.

I can connect to my repository via a linux machine, but using Subversion
command line or TortoiseSVN on windows results in a hang after trying to do
a checkout (co) or list (ls). It doesn't even prompt me for my password.
I've not been able to figure out why this is happening.
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